By Mark Whittington
According to an October 29, 2013 story in Politico, the actor Sean Penn appeared on Piers Morgan’s CNN talk show and suggested that people like Ted Cruz should be committed. Penn believes that the tea party’s influence in Congress is pernicious.
“I think they have — there’s a mental health problem in Congress,’ Penn said. ‘This would be solved by committing them by executive order, I think. Because these are our American brothers and sisters, we shouldn’t be criticizing them, attacking them … this is a cry for help.’
“’You literally commit what, people like Ted Cruz?’ asked Morgan
“’He is my American brother,’ the actor said. ‘I think we should take care of him, he is in trouble.’
“’Well, actually have him committed?’
“’Yeah, I think it’s a good idea,’ Penn replied with a laugh.”
The irony of a man, whose tendency to domestic violence is well documented, commenting on the mental health of other people is astonishing in its brazen arrogance. It is possible that Penn may favor, as was the practice in the old Soviet Union, the declaring of political dissidents insane, with treatment prescribe to “cure” them of that dissent. Or he may have been making a poor attempt at humor. Either way, his performance was not very edifying.